Follow Up: OHL Playoff Update
Following up on Monday’s “Open Mike Night” that documented the QMJHL playoffs, here’s a quick look at the going’s on in the Ontario Hockey League playoffs.
The heavily-favored Belleville Bulls took down Sudbury in six games. Despite a first rate defensive effort by Sudbury that kept the series very interesting, Belleville was just too powerful. Led by Penguin prospect Eric Tangradi’s four goals and four assists, the Bulls get to move on. Hurricanes prospect Mike Murphy, an unorthodox goalie, posted a .934 save pct. and sub-two goals against average in the series.
The Brampton Battalion shot down the Peterborough Petes in four straight. The games were closer than the series would indicate, but the Petes are, after all, a much weaker team. Vancouver prospect Cody Hodgson posted 11 points in the series’ four games. Rangers prospect Evgeny Grachev and 2009 eligible Matt Duchene also had an excellent series. Zach Harnden was one of the lone bright spots for the Petes.
Niagara upset Ottawa in seven games. Game 7 needed overtime to be decided, but it took one shot, 13 seconds in for the Ice Dogs to move on. Neither team played particularly well in terms of keeping pucks out of the nets. Ottawa blueliner Julien Demers leads all d-men in scoring and all players in assists by going 0+11=11 in the series. Fellow Shark prospect Logan Couture put up a valiant effort, netting ten points in the series. Alas, Ottawa is bounced in the first round again.
Mississauga moved past Barrie in five games. Despite Peter DiSalvo’s efforts for Barrie, including an 84 save performance in game five’s triple OT thriller, the Colts came up short. Avs prospect Cameron Gaunce posted nine points in the series to lead the way. OHL rookie netminder, J.P. Anderson turned in quite a performance for Mississauga.
Predictably, Windsor thwarted the Owen Sound Attack in four games. 2009 eligible defenseman Ryan Ellis had four goals and three assists; while surprising Kings prospect Andrei Loktionov contributed eight helpers as the Spitfires essentially had their way with the defensively feeble Owen Sound club. 2010 eligible Taylor Hall leads all playoff scorers with seven goals and 12 points. Stars prospect Tyler Beskorowany lost his job early in the series to 2009 eligible Scott Stajcer – he faired little better: 5.70 GAA and .905 save pct. The Attack were outshot 235 to 112 in the series without a single game going to overtime.
The dangerously powerful London Knights defeated the Erie Otters in five contests. Despite having a team of sure-fire 2009 first rounders such as John Tavares and Nazem Kadri, the Knights were paced in scoring by Phil Varone. 2008 first rounder Michael Del Zotto netted eight points in the series. Trevor Cann was able to keep Erie out of the net, posting a 2.01 GAA and .940 save pct. Slovakian WJC hero Jaroslav Janus didn’t have his best series, that may hurt his draft status this June.
The Saginaw Spirit swept the Guelph Storm despite several close games. The first three games were decided by a single goal (a third period penalty shot and two double-overtime games). Spirit goalkeeper Edward Pasquale turned aside much of Guelph’s heavy onslaught. Overager Jack Combs enjoyed a tremendous series for Saginaw, scoring six goals and nine points.
The Plymouth Whalers squashed the Sarnia Sting in five games. Rookie Tyler Seguin had a tremendous series, gathering nine assists and 11 points over the course of the series. Sarnia was hard pressed to find a goal in the series; Whaler netminder Matt Hackett posted a 0.98 GAA and .970 save pct. as Plymouth strangled Sarnia’s already lackluster offense.